Here’s How You Can Be Proactive When It Comes To Your Health
Why wait for the worst to happen? Here are ways you can be more proactive about your health and that of your family, and it starts with a comprehensive and affordable health plan like AXA’s Health Care Access
Entering the new decade, nobody saw a global pandemic coming. Almost overnight, streets that were once overflowing with tourists and locals found themselves empty; businesses shuttered, whether temporarily or permanently; and families and individuals sheltered in place. In short, life, for many, was thrown off-balance.
Among other realizations, the past year and seven months has also made people see just how important one’s health truly is, but pandemic or not, it’s always crucial to take care of yourself—physically, mentally, and emotionally. It’s important to be proactive when it comes to your health and to remember that your body serves you and vice versa.
Here are ways you can be more proactive about your health or that of your family’s. You will see that these tips are the age-old pieces of advice that health experts have long told us about, but we were just too stubborn to take heed.
1. Eat healthy and stay hydrated
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that a “healthy diet is essential for good health and nutrition.” Maintaining a diet like that can protect one against “chronic noncommunicable diseases,” like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. This means reducing salt, sugars, and saturated trans-fats from your diet, and incorporating cereals, legumes, fruit and vegetables, and meat, fish, eggs and milk.
Dermatologist Dr. Risa Caldoza further stresses the importance of keeping yourself hydrated: “Hydration is very important because water is a biological solvent—everything we put in our body from vitamins to minerals, to the food we eat, will be processed by water.”
It’s also important to stay hydrated throughout the day. In a 2017 CNN story, registered U.S. dietitian Lisa Drayer said: “Water regulates our body temperature, keeps our joints lubricated, helps prevent infections and delivers nutrients to our cells. Additionally, our kidneys and liver work hard to get rid of toxins in our bodies, and they depend on water to do their job.”
2. Consult with doctors regularly
Make regular consultations and check-ups with your doctors a habit. Regular check-ins with your doctors can be a preventative measure for severe illness—they allow you to identify potential health issues and solve them before they get any worse. Some of the benefits of consulting with doctors regularly include reducing your risk of getting sick, increasing chances for treatment, and limit the risk of complications.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting tests and screenings for the following, regularly:
- Breast cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Cholesterol and other blood tests
- Colorectal Cancer
- High Blood Pressure
- Oral Health
- Prostate Cancer
- Skin Cancer
Through services like AIDE you can easily access a database of doctors of different specializations, based on your location, to make finding a doctor to consult with easier.
3. Get enough sleep every night
Sleep is important. It’s difficult to function when you’re running on zero to very few hours of sleep. Why is sleep important? According to Food and Nutrition, research suggests that it “may help remove toxins from the brain that build up during waking hours,” as well as with “learning new information, making memories and regulating emotions.” Sleep prepares you for the day ahead; it also allows your body its much-needed rest and relaxation to give you energy to go through your day.
Furthermore, the right amount of sleep maintains your circadian rhythm, explains Dr. Caldoza. “Sleep is the only time our body regenerates because during sleep, everything slows down, like your brain functions, and it’s time you can get over the stress and all the issues of the day,” she says to Metro.Style.
As to how much sleep is necessary, that depends on your body’s unique needs. “The prescribed 8 hours of sleep is just an approximation, she says, and will ultimately depend on your physiology. For example, according to the Sleep Foundation, adults from 26-64 years old needs 7-9 hours of sleep, while those 65 and above need 7-8 hours of sleep.
In the Philippines, there are centers that specialize in sleep problems such as the St. Luke’s Comprehensive Sleep Disorders Center, Lung Center’s Sleep Laboratory and Sleep Disorders Clinic, and Medical City’s Center for Snoring and Sleep Disorders.
4. Exercise regularly
Being proactive about one’s health also means that you include enough exercise in your weekly routine. Especially now during a pandemic, it’s easier to fall off that habit—but it’s also the perfect time to incorporate physical movement when you can. The World Health Organization knows how vital this is, too, and so they recommend even “three to five minutes of physical movement.”
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, when so many of us are very restricted in our movements, it is even more important for people of all ages and abilities to be as active as possible,” the organization said. “Even a short break from sitting, by doing three-to-five minutes of physical movement, such as walking or stretching, will help ease muscle strain, relieve mental tension and improve blood circulation and muscle activity.”
Inquirer reports that regular physical activity is “key to preventing and helping to manage heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and cancer. It has also been shown to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, reduce cognitive decline, improve memory and boost overall brain health.”
Regular exercise can be achieved even during a pandemic via online workout sessions, which became more popular because of the lockdown. Based on a survey by Kantar, the percentage of Filipinos who do online workouts have increased by 42 percent from 35% pre-pandemic. The key is in doing a hybrid approach to virtual classes combined with some gym use.
Wellness coach Ida Paras, shares that it’s important to keep your workout goals “measurable, bite-sized, and realistic” so that “you can build momentum until your habits become an unstoppable force,” she shares with Metro.Style.
5. Get a comprehensive and affordable health plan
If you do not have a health insurance plan, how much would you shell out of your own pocket in the event that you get sick? Let’s see: The average hospitalization cost for dengue is at P170,000; for COVID-19 at P1.1 million; for heart attack P600,000; for stroke P1.2 million; lung cancer P1.7 million. And these are diagnostic and treatment costs only and do not include after-care, rehab, or maintenance.
One of the best things you can do for yourself and your family is to get them health insurance that provides comprehensive and affordable coverage, like AXA’s Health Care Access, so you can rest assured that you are prepared for the financial repercussion that getting sick entails .
You can choose between Health Care Access Prime, which is ideal for individuals, families, entrepreneurs, freelancers, consultants, and those looking for their first health care plan, as well as Health Care Access Lite, a more affordable option designed to help provide more sufficient health coverage that supplements your existing health care plan. It’s perfect for individuals and families, employees with existing company-issued health care plans, and those looking for additional coverage against unexpected health setbacks.
Take charge of your health and visit www.axa.com.ph or call: (+632)85815-292, (+63)917-1709292 (Globe), (+63)998-5889292 (Smart). For corporate transactions: (+632)8885-0101.